Chapter 4: That's enough
Six years later and the tension within Matrika's family had intensified. Aikon had seen the progress that Bardock had been making with his training and still maintained that it was a waste of time. Matrika's views on her mate's treatment of Bardock hadn't changed. Luckily, Aikon wasn't at home very often. He was either on a mission or at the bar. Bardock had learnt to shut out the abuse from his father and continued as normal. The good news though was that Bardock had continued training with Tarro and Tora. The three boys were getting stronger, faster and wiser thanks to the training and their friendship was getting firmer. Matrika and Courne started leaving them to train and had also developed a close friendship. The bond was so close that both women had promised to look after each other's children if anything happened. Matrika secretly hoped it wouldn't happen as the thought of looking after three boys rather than one was daunting. But soon that promise would be realized.
It started when Aikon was preparing for a mission in his room. As he ensured his armour was completely undamaged, he caught sight of Bardock walking past wearing his training clothes. Matrika was out on one of her rare missions so Aikon knew that Bardock was defenceless.
"Boy, come here." He called.
Wary, Bardock did as he was told and walked in to his father's room. The wound on his little cheek had done as Plenthor predicted and become a very distinct scar. It still made Matrika slightly emotional when looking at it but it was very much a part of the twelve-year-old saiyan.
"Where are you going?"
"To train with my friends."
"Well, forget it. I have something more useful for you to do."
This made Bardock very suspicious and nervous. Aikon put his armour on then led his son out of the house. He then flew in to the air. Hesitantly, Bardock followed him.
Nearly two hours later, father and son were still flying. Bardock was getting tired and increasingly hungry. He hadn't eaten for three hours and keeping up with his father's incredible speed and stamina was draining the energy out of his little body. Aikon then heard the stomach of his son grumble. He turned around and saw Bardock falling behind. In fact, he was plummeting to the ground. They had stopped in the mountains of Vegeta, there was heaps of snow everywhere and it was very cold. Aikon landed in front of Bardock, who was rubbing his belly to soothe the hunger pains.
"What's the problem boy?" he asked, knowing full well what was wrong.
"I'm so hungry." Bardock moaned.
Aikon smirked. He then lifted off the ground and hovered above Bardock. The boy suddenly realised what was happening.
"Father, wait a minute. I'm coming too."
But as he tried to fly with his father, he just fell straight back down to the ground. His energy supply was drained. He watched in despair as Aikon vanished with the speed he was flying.
This was bad. Bardock had no energy to fly, was completely lost, it was very cold and Matrika, his only hope of salvation, didn't know where he was. But he couldn't give up. He stood up and started walking the direction he had flown from. Hopefully he would get home this way.
A few hours later, Bardock was still walking through the frozen waste land and was desperately trying to stay on his feet. He was getting weaker from lack of food and hope was disappearing. Suddenly something in the sky caught his attention. He looked up and saw a space pod returning home. It had to be Matrika. Her job wasn't to blow planets up, it was to monitor and maintain the contribution of planets taken by Frieza's empire. Her return meant Bardock had a glimmer of hope. She surely would go home first thing and would worry when her baby wasn't there to hug her.
Finally, exhaustion took over and little Bardock collapsed in the snow.
Meanwhile, Matrika had indeed returned to Vegeta from her duty and was looking forward to a nap then some food. But before she could fly away, Courne appeared. She looked worried.
'I wonder what's happened. I hope the twins are ok?'
"Matrika," Courne said, "I'm so glad to see you."
"Bardock was supposed to train with Tora and Tarro today but he didn't show up."
"Have you been to my home?"
"Yes but no one answered."
Matrika suddenly felt her heart beat increase rapidly. She was on the edge of hyperventilating and fearing the worse. She suddenly flew off the landing deck and powered herself through the sky to her home. Once there, she burst in and rushed in to every room.
"Bardock? Bardock!" She called, "Where are you, my baby?"
She looked everywhere but nothing. However, she knew exactly who would know where her son was. She stormed out of the house and headed to a familiar bar.
Sure enough, Matrika found Aikon. He was sitting calmly at the counter, chucking back alcohol. One of the guys saw Matrika marching to her mate, clearly furious.
"Hey, Aikon," He said, "Looks like you're in trouble."
"Matrika? When did you get back?"
"That doesn't matter!" She barked, "What have you done with Bardock? And don't say you don't know. He's not home and his friends haven't seen him all day.
"I took him to the mountains. A toughening up exercise for him."
Matrika nearly froze. She knew now how much danger her son was in. She quickly ran out of the bar and flew at full speed to the mountains. Aikon just turned back to the bar, carrying on with his drinking. Once in the mountain range, she slowed down and used her scouter to find Bardock's power level. It took a while but soon she found him. He was unconscious and almost buried under the snow, thanks to a passing blizzard. She landed right by his side and picked him up. She quickly wrapped his body in her travelling clock and held him tight.
"Bardock," She called, "Baby, it's going to be ok. Mama's here now."
Slowly, his eyes opened and looked up at her.
"Mom?" He barely said.
"Yes. You're safe now, Bardock. Let's go home."
Holding her son tight to her body, Matrika flew home as quickly as she could.
Almost as soon as they touched down, Matrika had Bardock in bed and was trying to warm him up to the best of her skill. She covered him in thick warm blankets then warmed up some water and helped him drink it.
"There we go," She said softly, "Is that better?"
"Yeah, but," Bardock replied, "I could do with some food."
"So be it. I'll make your favourite."
She kissed his forehead then left him to warm up. Once in another room, she gave a sigh. How could Aikon do this? This cruelty towards Bardock had gone on for far too long. She couldn't believe she had put up with this and allowed Bardock's life to be risked for so long. She had to stop this once and for all.
A couple of hours later, Aikon returned home after being in the bar. He was pretty drunk, barely able to walk straight. Bardock had warmed up and was sleeping in his room. Matrika was washing the dishes.
"Mattie!" Aikon called, "Where are you, woman?"
"What are you doing here?" She growled.
"This is my home."
"Not any more. You've gone too far this time, Aikon. Bardock doesn't deserve you to be abusing him like this!"
"The Boy needs putting in his place. He's a weakling, always has been and always will be. There's no point in him training."
Matrika glared at the attempt to validate the abuse. It brought tears to her eyes. At one point she loved this man but now she didn't even care if he were to blow up. As her anger boiled, Aikon got closer to her.
"Now, if we're finished talking," He growled deeply, "Time for some fun."
Suddenly, before she could react, Matrika was pinned against the wall by Aikon's weight and strength. He used his large hands to hold hers and his knees to prevent her legs from moving. She then felt his tail exploring her body. She had to stop him. But every time she struggled, his grip tightened. Eventually, her squirming started to irritate him. He suddenly clasped a hand around her throat.
"Stop moving," He growled, "Or I won't let go."
Suddenly, something hit Aikon hard in the side of his head, sending him flying. Matrika fell to the floor and her lungs quickly filled with air, resulting in her coughing. As she rubbed her neck, she looked up to see a shock. Aikon also looked up to see it. Stood between the two adult saiyans, was Bardock in fighting stance. The young saiyan had been woken by the entrance his father made. When he heard his parents arguing over him, he went to his bedroom door. Then when he saw Matrika being strangled, he punched his father.
"Leave Mother alone, you scum."
"How dare you? DIE BOY!"
Aikon then punched his son in the stomach. But as he prepared to kick him, Matrika grabbed his ankle while it was in the air.
"Bardock, run sweetie" She ordered.
At that roar, Bardock did as he was told and sprinted out of the house. As he took to the skies, he could hear his mother fighting courageously against his father. Then the young saiyan started crying.
"Mother, why do that? He wanted to kill me. Why didn't you let him? You wouldn't be suffering if it wasn't for me!"
Bardock flew as fast as he could to the one place he knew he would be safe.
Will Matrika be ok? Wait and see.